The No Spend Zone: Babysitting Budget

With the poor state of the economic condition in our eyes and ears everyday, moms budgets have been cut in half. When I say moms budgets, I mean the extra few dollars that were available for cleaning services and/or babysitting.  I love my job as a SAHM, but it is close to impossible to keep crumbs off the carpet, cheerios (full and crushed) off the kitchen floor, dishes out of the sink, and keep up with laundry in various stages (dirty and on the floor or clean and unfolded on a bed) . Sometimes, I don’t know where the dirty clothes end and the clean clothes begin, so I just throw the whole pile in the washing machine again.  When my son was born last March, we had a domestic help budget to die for. I had this amazing babysitter from 3-7 everyday. She played with the kids, made dinner, cleaned up from dinner, made the bottles, bathed the kids, and picked up all the toys before she left. She was too good to be true, and a month later, she left to work another gig. She was a hard act to follow, but followers were needed. The hours of 4-7, a.k.a., the witching hour, I needed those extra pair of hands, as my baby decided to be colicy at the same time. The only thing that would soothe him was being attached to my breast or in the Baby Bjorn. He was happy, but his two older sisters were jealous and wanted in on the act. Mission impossible.

Fast forward 11 months. The colic has finished and the girls aren’t as clingy. Even if they were, I’ve had to learn to deal with this issue on my own. Yes, the babysitting budget has been cut in half. At first I was afraid, I was petrified, la la la…seriously, I was freaked out. So, three days a week I am on my own from 4-7 pm, the other two days I have help from 5-7. That’s it. With such little me time during the week, I had to maximize my time during the babysitter hours. Should I go grocery shopping? Fold laundry? Catch up on my email? Pay bills? Should this time be used for me to just chill and grab a cup of coffee (don’t worry DH, it’s a gift card, hee) at Starbucks? The truth is, I haven’t quite figured out how to use this time for me, as my exit strategy is sabatoged by requests ” mom I want to go with you”.  So much for that plan.

So, with a limited babysitting budget, and even more limited me time, I need more time to figure it out. Have you figured out how to maximize your limited budget for babysitting and/or cleaning services?  Please let me know.

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